Thursday, June 7, 2012


last sunday i successfully completed my fourth half marathon.

i guess you could say i've now completed two FULL marathons....over the course of about 4 years.
i'll just start telling people that now, leaving off that last tidbit of information.

seriously though. you know what's pretty darn incredible?
 the fact that i get off of my bum at ALL and do something athletic.

i ran my first half marathon in 2008.
before training for that, i went for a handful of jogs in college.
and quite literally, other than a short-lived stint in 7th grade basketball
(don't ask for the humiliating details. i'm scarred for life.)
that was the extent of my pre-half marathon athletic career.

pretty impressive, right?

there were two things that motivated me to accomplish my first half marathon.

thing one:
my brother completed a full marathon in college. i've always admired him for this,
and was blown away by his ability to train and complete such a feat.
i remember being terrified for him the morning of his race, and praying that he wouldn't get hurt.
i remember that he wore my bandana that i gave him before the race around his arm.
i was inspired by his ability to accomplish his goal,
and wanted to see if i could acheive something similar.

thing two:
i came to a place in my life where i had a deep desire to accomplish something on my own.
all on my own.
i wanted to prove to myself
(after 24 years of putting off/not accomplishing much of anything i ever set out to do)
that i was capable of following through on something.
that i could push myself.
that i could commit.

and i did.

it felt so good to prove to myself that i could do it.
even though it was hard, i enjoyed the process of training, and realizing with each run, how my body's ability was changing, and i was becoming capable of more and more.

the only thing was...
even though i had the grandest of intentions to keep it up,
i didn't run again after this race.
not for a long time, anyway.
i fell back into my old patterns.
i also had a lot of intense life changes happening around this time in my life, but still...
i was so disappointed in myself for not committing to keeping at it.

fast forward to 2009, and i mustered up some more motivation.
i trained again,
but this time i just couldn't get my mind into the right frame.
training didn't go the way it did the last time.

mile 3 and already feeling defeated.
there were a lot of negative factors playing into my second half marathon,
and it was definitely the most challenging run i've ever completed.
but i did complete it.

and i need to remember that.
it was just really hard to see it at the time.

fall of 2009 was my first half marathon that i ran with a partner.
it was definitely a different experience running alongside someone,
but she and i were perfectly matched pace-wise.
and it helped that our names match, too.

this time i really wanted to set out to sort of redeem myself from the last race.
and i think i did.
we had a great run at a new course we'd never been at before.

i distinctly remember having this big smile on my face at mile 9.
it felt good to feel so good.
does that make sense?

but again..the running stopped after that race.
that wasn't totally within my control though,
being that i got pregnant and had a baby and all.

fast forward to this past year,
and i was finally ready to commit myself to accomplishing another race.

i had a deep desire to get back into running, and this time a new friend to help me along the way.

but not only was my goal to complete another race.
i wanted to acheive a new personal record.

i wanted to beat my previous best race time, which occured at my first half marathon:
2 hours : 27 minutes : 5 seconds

i noticed during training this time around, that i was acheiving faster average paces than i've ever run in my life.

so i was excited to see what i was capable of.
and i did.

running like a dork helps, you know. this was only mile 1 or 2, by the way.

even though it was hot,
and half way into the race, i felt exhausted,
and every single step took more effort than i wanted to give,

i finished.
and not only did i finish,
but i completed this race in
2 hours : 13 minutes : 1 second

and i feel pretty proud about that.

sure, there's things that i wish would have gone a bit differently that day.
and a part of me wonders if i would have made as good of a time/pace, had i been running alone.
but i want to be intentional about focusing on what i accomplished.
and what was meaningful for me that day.
not only did i train well leading up to the race,
and not only did i set a new personal record,
but i got to share the experience with friends and family.

and honestly, you want to know the thing i'm most proud of, after all of that?
i'm proud of the fact that i went for a 2.5 mile run
just two days after the race.
and i have every intention of going for another run tomorrow.
because i am committed to continue running after this last race.
with or without a medal to show for it.

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